Honouring Your Faith with a Direct Cremation

Direct cremations have risen in popularity for several reasons, but how can you honour your faith or religion with one? Keep reading to learn more.
Honouring Your Faith with a Direct Cremation

A direct cremation is what it sounds like – a cremation without the bells and whistles. People choose direct cremations for all kinds of reasons, but if you’re wondering how to honour and respect a faith or religion with a direct cremation, here are some ideas. 

First, let’s define what a direct cremation is.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation offers no funeral service. This means that there is no viewing of the deceased or a farewell ceremony conducted as part of the service.

Why would someone choose a direct cremation?

There are many reasons why a person or their family would opt for a direct cremation. 

In a nutshell, direct cremations are:

  • More cost-effective than traditional cremation services, since they take fancy coffins, embalming and other services out of the equation.
  • A good way to buy time for loved ones who live interstate or overseas. This option allows them to make travel arrangements without having to make any hasty decisions.\
  • A good option for families who may choose to take the ashes to a special location to have the funeral, celebration of life, or memorial at a later time.
  • Also a popular option for those with no living family or friends.

How to honour your faith or religion with a direct cremation

While some religions such as Greek OrthodoxJudaismIslam, and some sects of Catholicism all mandate (or preference) burial, other faiths allow families to choose cremation. Or, you may be someone who was raised in one religion, but you identify as more spiritual, therefore, you have decided to set out your plans for your family or loved ones to follow. 

In any case, if you are planning a direct cremation (or are interested in one) but are not sure how to honour your faith or religion while doing so, here are some ideas to consider:

1. Choose a spiritually significant location

If you or your loved one had a favourite spot, you can consider scattering their ashes in a spiritually significant location, such as a local garden that they loved, a mountain, or on the water. Keep in mind that in some jurisdictions, it may not be legal to scatter ashes on the beach or in the ocean, but you can read more about that here. (In some cases, you may need a permit, and for this reason, direct cremations will grant you more time to make the necessary arrangements.)

2. Include songs, poems or hymns

Even if you’re not opting for a burial or a traditional funeral service, you can still incorporate religious songs, hymns, or even poems that are meaningful to you. You can arrange for a local choir, a cappella group or a band to perform religious songs at a memorial, or simply connect a device to a speaker and play a few songs while the ashes are scattered. This is a great way to tie in religion with direct cremation. 

3. Include traditional religious customs 

If you are scattering ashes at a special location, you can still incorporate your faith. For example, you could request that your loved ones recite a special blessing or hymn, read a religious scripture or text, or you could invite a religious leader or member from your community to attend or bless the scattering ceremony. There are many ways you can incorporate your faith into the ceremony – you don’t have to stick to what is traditionally done. 

Wrap up

Choosing direct cremation for yourself carries significant personal meaning. It’s your memorial, your body, and ultimately, your choice. Take the opportunity to personalise the process in a way that feels cathartic for both you and your family. 

If you’re arranging a direct cremation and planning a subsequent funeral or memorial for a loved one, with direct cremation, you can allow yourself the time needed to make thoughtful decisions and accommodate family and friends, even those travelling from overseas or interstate. Don’t hesitate to lean on your support network, and be sure to seek guidance from funeral directors or planners who can assist you through this journey. 

If you have specific wishes for your funeral, consider Willed’s prepaid funerals. You can plan and pay for your funeral in advance to save your family time, money and stress for when the time comes.

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